So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
— 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NKJV)
Human beings crave love. When a woman’s soul has been wounded, that craving for love often takes one of two forms. Some women develop hard or harsh personalities so other people will not want to get close to them. If the wounds in their souls are related to men, they may make firm decisions not to trust men or not to build relationships with men at all. Other women may be excessive in their desires to have a man in their life, to the point that they are willing to enter into a relationship with any man who pays attention to them. Perhaps you know women like this, women who seem to go from one unhealthy relationship to another. Maybe you have even done it yourself. You keep thinking the next man in your life will finally be the “right” one, only to find yourself disappointed.
When a woman has a string of relationships that never satisfy her, two things are usually true. One, she has not yet found her fulfillment in God alone; and two, she has not yet learned what real love is. In order to stop the cycle of craving love, seeking it from a man, and being disappointed, a woman’s soul needs to be healed. Part of that healing involves first receiving God’s unconditional love and then understanding what it really means to love and be loved by another person.
I want to share some things I hope will help you in your love relationships with other people. Only God can love us perfectly, but 1 Corinthians 13, which is called “the love chapter” of the Bible, helps us understand what real love is. If someone says, “I love you,” but isn’t demonstrating the attributes of love in this chapter, you might want to think twice before believing that person and going very far in a relationship.
Love is something that can be seen and felt. It is displayed in a variety of ways. When you are trying to decide whether someone loves you, and whether you love that person, you can use the qualities mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13 as a guide. It says that love is patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, and not arrogant or rude. It also does not demand its own way and is not irritable. It does not harbor resentment. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Cor. 13:6–7 ESV). Love helps others; it gives, and it is quick to forgive. This requires intentionality and saying no to self regularly.
The basic qualities of love in 1 Corinthians 13 give us plenty to think about when we consider whether we love someone else and whether they love us. Remember, only God can love you perfectly. Other human beings will let us down, but when we know what true love looks like, we can be wise in our relationships.
Prayer of the Day: Father, I am so thankful that You love me and that You have given me an ability to love others. Let Your love flow through me today in ways that will be a blessing to others. Continue to show me what real love looks like and give me wisdom in all my relationships, amen.